Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Signal Brutal Session on Tap

The Key Level GoPro Traders Are Watching

by Karee Venema

Published on Aug 20, 2015 at 8:57 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is bracing for a third straight day of losses, as a steep sell-off in global markets and an ongoing rout in crude oil weigh on investor sentiment. Additionally, traders will carefully weigh the latest economic reports -- which include weekly jobless claims and existing home sales -- after Wednesday's Fed minutes failed to give a clear indication on the possibility of a September rate hike. Against this unstable backdrop, futures on the blue-chip barometer are down triple digits at last check.


Continue reading for more on today's market, including:


And now, on to the numbers…




Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are nearly 133 points below fair value.


5 Things You Need to Know Today


  1. Asian markets plunged, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took a pass on the yuan.
  2. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped 10.6% yesterday to settle north of 15 -- and its 200-day moving average -- for the first time since July 27. In the options pits, it looks as if one speculator sold 22,600 September 16 straddles to fund the purchase of a same-sized lot of September 24 calls.
  3. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) has agreed to buy privately owned Sprout Pharmaceuticals -- maker of the recently approved "female Viagra" -- for roughly $1 billion plus milestone payments. This is the latest high-profile M&A move for VRX this year, and the shares are up 0.4% in electronic trading.
  4. Just one day after announcing it is dipping its toes in the renewable energy field, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) could be teaming up with a number of its fellow financial firms to construct a data-referencing company, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The initiative -- which has GS partnering with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) -- will help to cut costs at each firm.
  5. Kazakhstan -- which yesterday devalued its currency -- today abandoned its fixed exchange rate, moving instead to a free float system. The switch prompted a 23% plunge in the tenge.




Market Statistics


  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc (NYSE:RYAM), and Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU) were among the equities with unusual call and put activity on Wednesday. For the entire list, read Unusual Options Activity: HPQ, XOM, RYAM, and QIHU.
  • The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 707,568 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 573,359 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.81, while the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.73.
  • For info on currencies, commodities, trading volume, market breadth, and more, read Stock Market Stats for August 19, 2015.


Earnings and Economic Data


Weekly jobless claims, existing home sales, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey, and the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators make up today's economic calendar. Additionally, speaking in Jakarta earlier, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said a "reduction in house prices comes at significant costs in terms of reductions in real gross domestic product and inflation."

Stepping into the earnings fray are Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Marvell Technology Group (MRVL), Cyberonics (CYBX), JinkoSolar Holding (JKS), Intuit (INTU), Madison Square Garden (MSG), Mentor Graphics (MENT), and (CRM). Meanwhile, retail earnings continue with Bon-Ton Stores (BONT), Buckle (BKE), Kirklands (KIRK), Perry Ellis (PERY), Sears Holding (SHLD), Stage Stores (SSI), Stein Mart (SMRT), Gap (GPS), New York & Co (NWY), Ross Stores (ROST), The Fresh Market (TFM), and Tuesday Morning (TUES) reporting. To see what's on tomorrow's docket, click here.

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